Chris Christie Names Pension Abuse Czar
In late July on Townsquare Media’s monthly ‘Ask the Governor’ program, New Jersey Gov, Chris Christie vowed to issue an Executive Order creating the Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit to ferret out pension and disability fraud and ineligibility. Christie has now officially done that.
“We’ve taken historic, bipartisan action to fix a broken public pension system that would have been insolvent in a matter of years without bold intervention,” said Christie. “This is a serious and significant new step to protect the integrity of the system and guard every taxpayer dollar and employee contribution from fraud and abuse.”
The new unit will be run by Jim Scott, a former Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator, who will move from the State Attorney General’s Office, where he currently investigates public corruption and white-collar crime, to the Treasury Department.
“Siphoning of pension and disability benefits by fraud or ineligibility hurts everyone, including honest current and future pensioners and above all, New Jersey taxpayers who support the system and expect it to be fair and free of fraud,” explained Christie.
Under the Executive Order, investigators and other employees will be assigned to the unit to investigate public pension claims and payments, including disability pension claims and claims of improper participation in the retirement systems.